Responding to today’s Spring Budget, Ross McNally, Chief Executive and Executive Chair of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Businesses will be reassured by much of what the Chancellor announced on investment and skills development.
“While he left in place the planned rise in Corporation Tax, firms keen to invest in IT, plant and machinery will welcome the chance to offset more of their expenditure against tax through the more generous system of annual investment allowances.
“This is a clever move that balances the need for market stability with making the UK a more competitive place for international firms to invest in, so ultimately helping with job creation and raising skills.
“He also struck a decent balance between restoring business confidence and leaving the door open for government intervention to pump-prime new and emerging sectors such as quantum computing, AI and green tech. He reached many of the touchpoints on investment that will help with the vision for the UK to be a technology-based superpower.
“Businesses in the life sciences supply chain, one of the key sectors for Hampshire, will be cheered by his enhanced tax credits for research and development.
“And we welcome the Chancellor’s support for a long-term solution on cost-effective energy through carbon capture, usage and storage. This is something Hampshire Chamber is actively pursuing with partners in the Solent Cluster initiative. Greater tax relief on energy efficiency and sustainability will be a massive force for good on the way to net zero.
“The only downside to the Budget was the lack of explicit focus on the South. While Jeremy Hunt talked of ‘enterprise, everywhere’, many in our region will continue to see ‘levelling-up’ as simply meaning support for the Midlands and the North.”